The Washington Times - April 19, 2014, 09:35AM

President Obama on Saturday took a break from his usual partisan weekly address and instead simply wished Americans a happy Easter.

Rather than push for immigration reform, a hike in the minimum wage or other initiatives he’s pushed in recent weeks, the president kept this weekend’s comments free from any controversy.

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“For me, and for countless other Christians, Holy Week and Easter are times for reflection and renewal. We remember the grace of an awesome God, who loves us so deeply that He gave us his only Son, so that we might live through Him,” Mr. Obama said. “The common thread of humanity that connects us all — not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs — is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”

But Republicans countered by offering clear distinctions between their party and the party of the president, touting GOP alternatives on education, health care and a wide variety of other issues.

“Republicans want to enable and empower you. We want to be the iPhone party. We believe government ought to be a platform that gives you more opportunity and freedom to create a happier, more prosperous and safer life,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican. “Usually in Washington, Republicans are the enablers and Democrats are the mandators … Just imagine the Internal Revenue Service, the Food and Drug Administration or the Labor Department enabling you rather than ordering you around.”